What an awesome book! I mean, Robin Hobb is one of the greatest fantasy writers ever, and this one just tops off her amazing Soldier Son trilogy. I couldn't stop reading, I was so terrified for Nevarre. I thought he was going to have a horrible ending. Not as fast paced as the Farseer and Golden Fool trilogies, it's nevertheless utterly gripping. A big book, admittedly, but well worth the time it takes to read. The description is stunning, and I mean stunning. If you ever have to analyse a piece of descriptive writing, Robin Hobb continues with the standards set in the first two books of the series with regard to the sheer detail she puts into her world. From the berries and the leaves, to the Specks and their magic and customs, this is a world you find yourself understanding as though it were our own.
A brilliant summation of what happens after the magic claims Nev totally and he has to enter the forest. Imprisoned within the body of Soldier Boy, unable to let himself submit to his powerful alter-ego, Nev becomes a spectator in his own life. But in order for the magic to work, for the land to be cleansed, Nev must become one with Soldier Boy. They can only save their people—both their peoples—together.
I won't tell you any more about the plot, but it's intricacies leave you gripped and the final ending is as satisfying as that in the Golden Fool trilogy. In case you haven't gathered already, I highly recommend this book—although you'd be best to read the first two (Soldier Son and Forest Mage) first.